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Drink Recipes

28 July 2008

Horchata de Arroz - Cinnamon-infused Rice Milk


It's been four months since our trip to Oaxaca in Mexico. The charming colonial city is a fascinating place with a real love and appreciation for food.

It is full of teeming markets, their stalls selling anything from tamales, chupalines (fried grasshoppers), handmade ice-cream to popular drinks such as Horchata de Arroz -- a refreshing drink made using rice.

Oaxaca is also dotted with cooking schools usually run by local B&Bs. We took a class at Casa Crespo run by the charming owner, Oscar. The class began with a tour of a small market and brief lesson about the local ingredients.

Once back at Casa Crespo, the lesson began accompanied by some ice-cold cervesas. We made the best guacamole and salsa I've ever tasted, quesadillas stuffed with zucchini blossoms and string cheese, zucchini blossom soup, Trout with a toasted pumpkin seed sauce, Oaxacan chocolate ice-cream and the delicious Horchata de Arroz.

The heavenly drink tastes like a rice pudding. It's made of ground long-grain rice, water, evaporated milk, cinnamon and sugar. Just before serving it's mixed with small, succulent pieces of rockmelon (cantaloupe) and garnished with slivered almonds.

Before tasting the drink, I was a little skeptical about the addition of rockmelon. And while the rockmelon is not necessary (the drink tastes great without it) the combination is very complimentary.

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